Biking the river Elbe from Dresden to Prague

Following the Elbe upstream from Dresden to Prague

You will arrive in Dresden, the Florence of the Elbe. The city has an old compact city centre which lends itself perfectly to explore by bike. You will cycle southward through a sandstone valley carved out by the river, the rocky outcrop offered perfect locations to build fortresses and castles, so on your way to Bad Schandau you will come across many. Then the landscape slowly changes and becomes speckled with old extinct volcanoes whose slow green rolling slopes accompany you in the distance. You will cycle towards Litomerice whose inner city is declared national heritage, visit the tunnel system underneath the city to get a good feel of what mining in the middle ages was like. The landscape now becomes agriculturally dominated, because of the fertile soil the Elbe deposits on these flat lands. You will cycle through Terezin, a beautiful fortress city with a dark past. You will reach Melnik, wine capital of the Central Bohemian wine region, which is located majestically on a hill where the Moldau meets the Elbe river. Finally you will arrive in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic with a lot of cultural highlights such as the Cathedral, Jewish town, the astronomical clock, and the oldest university in Central Europe.

The cycle-route runs parallel to the river most of the time, sometimes the route moves away from the river to visit a beautiful site. You will cycle most of the time on bicycle paths and sometimes on rural roads. The route is flat, which is an exception in a country where the hills follow up each other row after row most of the time.

The trip can also be made without luggage transport: Discount € 100,- per booking!

Day-by-day schedule


Day 1: Dresden

You will arrive in Dresden where the bicycle tour starts. Spend the day discovering this amazing city. You can visit the recently renovated Frauenkirche. You can take a guided tour in the former residency chateau of the king of Saxony, and to top it all of: See a play in the Semper opera. You will receive your bikes in the hotel, if you rented them, together with all attributes belonging to the trip such as maps and a route description.


Day 2: Dresden - Bad Schandau (50 km/32 miles)

The route takes you directly along the Elbe river the whole time. You will cycle past the baroque chateau Pillnitz, the former summer residency of the Saxon king, with its vast parks. You continue your journey via Pirna, a city with a wonderful historical inner city. After visiting the inner city, you keep cycling along the Elbe. It has carved out its way in the sandstone rock, showing you the sandstone ridge at the top of the valley, whilst its slopes are filled with lush green forests.

Eventually you will reach the castle Königstein, from which you can enjoy the view into the Elbe valley. Finally you reach Bad Schandau, a spa town which gained fame by the aristocracy who always came here for treatments. You can follow a hiking route to one of the cold water springs, which cold water is said to help improve your blood circulation.


Day 3: Bad Schandau - Decin (23 km/15 miles)

The bicycle route takes you along some of the most beautiful rocky outcrop that this area has to offer. Only very few areas in Middle-Europe have nature as untouched as on this stretch. You will cycle past the hardly noticeable Czech – German border, and soon after you will arrive in Decin. Decin still has a large part of its old city wall intact, and the chateau is open for the public.


Day 4: Decin - Litomerice (52 km/33 miles)

You will switch from riverside today, and cycle this stretch on the left river bank. You will cycle past castle Groß Priesen towards Usti nad Labem (Labe is the Czech name for the Elbe). Usti nad Labem is painting-like when viewed upon from a distance, wedged in between the hilly landscape of the Bohemian Middle mountain ranges. You have the opportunity to hike towards the old famous ruin of Burg Schreckenstein (Fortress Fearstone), from here you have a one of a kind view over the Elbe valley. From Usti nad Labem on, you will cycle towards the bishop’s city of Litomerice, one of the oldest cities in Bohemia. It is located on a fertile land tongue where the Eger river flows into the Elbe. Litomerice is mesmerizing with its harmonic square, surrounded by manors of various kinds of architecture.


Day 5: Litomerice - Melnik (55 km/35 miles)

This day has a rather sad start as you cycle past Terezin, a former concentration camp. The village was originally build as an impenetrable fortress to prevent others to exert control over the surrounding lands. Because it was so impenetrable the Nazi’s decided that this was the perfect place to keep the Jewish population imprisoned. Nowadays there is a museum

dedicated to the former ghetto, and a monument honoring all those that lost their lives to the Nazi’s.

Halfway on today’s route you will reach Roudnice, in the South-East of this town the famous mountain Rip is located. The legend tells that the patriarch of the Czech people told his people from here to move into the surrounding lands.

The route continues to the point where the Vltava and Elbe flow together. You will cycle to the city of Melnik which is located majestically on the hill above this important landmark. From the promenade you can see how the two rivers seal their friendship. The hill has the most northern vineyard in the Czech Republic.


Day 6: Melnik - Prague (50 km/32 miles)

Today’s route takes you further upstream along the Vltava. Cycling up the valley hill is rewarded with a fast descent to the river. You switch riversides just before the Veltrusy chateau, and cycle along the chateau shortly before you enter Prague. Then you will cycle past the Troja castle, with its beautiful gardens. The imposing baroque building from the 17th century houses a significant collection of Czech paintings from the 19th century. You will reach the ‘Golden City’ after crossing the Vltava one last time.


Day 7: Prague

No cycling today! This is your day to visit Prague.

Prague has many nicknames such as the City with a Hundred Towers, and is visited by many tourists from all over the world. There are many highlights in this city such as King Charles Bridge, with its famous statue’s and many artists. From here you can see the Fortress and the Cathedral look after the rest of the city. You can visit the old Jewish Cemetery with old untouched graves, or visit St. Wenclas market square with the famous astronomical clock.

Writer Franz Grillparzer had an explanation of why the town has a magical attraction: ‘’Prague embodies the existence of the old and ancient values next to the new and dynamic world in such a small area, a story told in the form of buildings.’’


Day 8: End of your tour

Today is your final day. After your breakfast there might be some time left to do some more sightseeing before your flight takes off, or before you have to return to Dresden by train. It is possible to book through our office a special transfer back to Dresden.

If you can’t get enough of this city, it is possible to prolong your stay for a couple of more nights.


Level: 1 of 5

Orfeo travel cycling

Total length of the tour: 233 km / 145 miles

Price per person
7 nights in three or four star hotels / pensions € 790
Double room, incl. breakfast Included
Luggage transport Included
Detailed maps and gps files (gpx / kml) Included
24-Hour SOS service Included
Route description Included
Trekking bike (21-27 gears) € 95
E-bike (8 gears) € 190
Single room € 980
Surcharge solo traveller € 175
triple room / family room (4 beds) € 760 / 750
7 x Half board € 175
Extra night first hotel (single, double, triple, quad) € 110 / 130 / 190 / 230
Extra night last hotel (single, double, triple, quad) € 95 / 120 / 170 / 210
Special transfer back to first hotel (max. 4 Pers. / max. 8 Pers.) € 270 / 270
GPS device € 25

Rented bikes are fully equipped: bags, lights, locks, map holder, incl. service

Book online
From 790 Euro per person


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